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Review: The rib-tickling Play That Goes Wrong, Trafalgar Studios 2

Review: The joyous pleasure that is Orpheus at BAC

Orpheus_Artwork_A5_Front-draft_viewConfess that I initially dismissed seeing Orpheus because it sounded too much like a musical. And it is, vaguely. However, recommendation by two people, whose opinions I value, led me to the Battersea Arts Centre last night and I'm so glad I went along.

Orpheus is a joyous pleasure that is virtually indescribable and nothing I write will do it the justice it deserves. Not even the trailer does it justice. Needless to say it is different from anything else you'll see around at the moment.

Set in 1933 Paris, Orpheus is a play within a play, a silent movie with opera, jazz and classical music and some talking. It is a mime show and a masque and a cabaret. It has prologue, epilogue and musical interludes. It has dancing and no fourth wall to speak of, indeed the audience is part of the story and the set. It is Greek tragedy with Django Reinhardt, Edith Piaf and Paris chic, it is wry and witty, clever and fun.

And the 19th Century BAC is the perfect setting. Signs and food menus have been given a 1930's make over and the Grand Hall turned into a Parisian jazz club complete with tables and chairs and late night lighting - all that is missing is clouds of cigarette smoke. Use is even made of the historic pipe organ.

It's the sort of show where it is best to arrive early, buy a bottle of red wine at the bar and nab a table near the front. It's also the sort of show where sitting eating baked Camembert, bread and olives during the performance is encouraged in fact it adds to the jazz club atmosphere.

Orpheus had me grinning throughout and whooping at the end. If you want something refreshingly different and thoroughly entertaining you can catch it until May 11.

Watch the making of video for a bit more insight: